Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SH099 - woher kommst du nach spa$%@##!?&%^^^^x

video: Argent Soma
music: The Mountain Goats - "Family Happiness"
link: depositfiles [29.4 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: May 2005

Despite the remastering, the video is still supposed to look like that. This was the first time that I'd done something like this deliberately; there are projects in the pipeline that will really push the line of deliberate lo-fi in AMV, should I ever get around to them.

SH098 - Sing Loud Sing Proud For Your Scene!

video: Cromartie High School
music: Dropkick Murphys - "For Boston"
link: depositfiles [15.9 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: April 2005

The introduction to this video basically sets it up: people in black clothing doing stupid things to loud music, an animated version of being drunk on the sidewalk during a set change. I don't cover nearly all the bands I could have in the blur at the end -- even as I was in 2005 -- but then again, the animation doesn't cover dudes throwing an inflatable fish into traffic or "magically" turning an abandoned wallet into arm candy. We'll just have to live with that.

Those wanting more reality (and more 4chan) in their view of Boston DIY are advised to check out RTTP. For the exceptionally dense or bad-at-reading-sidebars, my further drunken sidewalk badinage is over that way.

SH097 - swords cross enn Midgarth

video: X/1999
music: Hypocrisy - "Adjusting The Sun"
link: depositfiles [47.1 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: April 2005

This is a remake of SH005, but as noted on there, materially different in a lot of ways, which led to it becoming its own video, about four years after the original. There are parts of it that are improved, and other parts that don't match up to the original -- whether because of closure closing differently or just pure nostalgia, I can't say, but the difference is there regardless.


video: various
music: Slayer - "Disciple" (original remix/edit)
link: depositfiles [23.8 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: April 2005

Don't let the otaku lead you down the garden path, there are some absolutely fucking vomitous, cut-your-own-throat-worthy shows out there. Most of the time, you can avoid them, but sometimes, when you do staff for cons, you have to sit there and refrain from killing yourself for an hour and a half to make sure that the AV system doesn't commit suicide in protest over what it's being asked to show.

This happened to me. I survived, but carrying a bowl of wrath that eventually had to get poured out sometime. Modern Slayer has its debits to be sure, but also its strengths, and pouring out bowls of wrath is one of those.

SH095 - Sakigake!! Takino Tomo!

video: Azumanga Daioh
music: HammerFall - "I Want Out" (cover)
link: depositfiles [38.8 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: March 2005

Fundamentally, this video is an idea hijack that is better documented in its .org entry, since I wrote that up already. It was at its time part of a deluge of AzuDai videos that, with the passage of years, is no longer a mark against it.

You can see the same sort of exuberance in being able to do effects easily here as you can in some parts of SH093; this is something I still struggle with, coming out of a place where every effect had to be part of the effects design to somewhere where no design is necessary, and imposing one is difficult. Here, like before and maybe not on subsequent videos, the randomness I think works in the video's favor. This is a splashy source with a splashy song that has been screwed around with to move even faster, so the introduction of random shiny objects goes less amiss.

There's also crap interlace-removal throughout this video, and indeed everything before like SH103. This is due to the 'learn by doing' stuff again; do all the interlace removal Magix allows you, and don't for the love of Christ build a MPEG2 master. You don't need to do that any more, you don't even work in that goddamned codec.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SH094 - Thunder Road

video: Galaxy Express 999 movies
music: Metallica - "Turn The Page" (cover)
link: depositfiles [58.9 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: February 2005

This was the first video that I hit Magix's internal 'wall' on. I don't know what this is, even to this day, but it is some combination of length and complexity of video that overloads the editor, a "you shall not pass", that whenever it hits, leaves you no alternative but to go back, blow out the last clip or couple clips placed, render what ya got, thunk out the large raw onto the timeline, uncheck the interlacing options, and pick up where you left off, a wearisome 10- to 30-minute process that strikes about once a minute to once every three minutes in terms of edited video. At the time I didn't know what it was, nor how to handle it; over the three wall hits in this video, I learned, and learned how to anticipate it. Much like the stupid kludge that I had to get through to get my older environment to work, it became something to deal with, not something to change environments over. It's been joined in that caption by interlacing on speed change and the environment's inability to do two filters at the same time, but this was the first and most aggravating.

SH093 - ded-kat-in-a-sak blooz

video: Cat Soup
music: Bix Beiderbecke - "Singin' The Blues"
link: depositfiles [31.4 MB]
editor: Magix 2.0+ deLuxe
production date: January 2005

INSO4 was a shakedown for Magix, after I'd gotten everything together on Battlefreak, which six years and a bunch of hardware and software upgrades later is still somehow viable as an edit station. This was the first SH AMV under the new system, and there are still some bugs evident in the process. Actually, there are a lot of bugs, but the weirdness of the video makes them a little more difficult to notice. It wasn't for another six months that I really got a hold on how and what to do with regards output and stuff in Magix. Learn by doing, learn by doing.

SH092 - 0x0075 0x2ec4 [[ch]ILL] 0x59b8

video: GANTZ, Wind - a breath of heart - (TV)
music: Meridian - "Abraham Timecode"
link: depositfiles [30.3 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: October 2004

This was the last video I did in Dazzle, and the last video I did as a student. It is probably the most SH SH video that exists, taking on brutal subjects with unorthodox as well as orthodox inputs and featuring both black metal and heavy picture damage. Most of the damage was done by thresholding the input (with a heavy blur to smooth out the edges, a technique that pretty much originated for my purposes on SH069), but after that was done, I reprocessed the source files to layer a static pattern -- which shows up in a couple places unmodified in the video, because what's the point, overlaying static with static -- over it. The intent was to get the video to look like an over-photocopied DIY flyer that's been stapled to a telephone pole and gotten rained on several times in the last few weeks. I think it succeeded, but even at this, I fell short of what I was actually trying to do.

The original effects design on this was supposed to used something referred to as 'punchcarding', a term that came up as a descriptor for a defect in the way WMP (if I recall correctly, it's frickin six years ago now) was presenting videos at one point in time, on one dude's laptop, at the Animania table following some showing or another. Little black boxes, like chads out of a punchcard, popping up here and there at random on the video. A ghost pattern, something we couldn't replicate, but which looked ceaselessly cool. I tried to write an AviSynth script to replicate it on this video in a post build, but apparently it went into an infinite recursion and hung the system. No dice. Maybe I'll try again at some point in the future.

Regardless, both the "rained-on flyer" design here and the "etchasketch hit with a baseball bat" effects design used in INSO13/14 are attempts to do punchcarding. I haven't let it go even yet, and it will not be surprising if another video gets mutilated towards this goal sometime down the line.

SH091 - Zero Zero J-Gei Shakedown

video: various (mostly H) games (ok, and some anime)
music: Cales - "Days of Emptiness"
link: depositfiles [ MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: September 2004

SH090 doesn't appear between this entry and the last one for reasons that will become clear sometime in the next two weeks from the date of this posting. A list of all the titles in this video, which were mostly sourced from Canned Dogs and Distribution in a variety of weird and initially useless formats, can be found on the .org video entry.

Despite the sourcing, this is a non-H video, suitable for all audiences (ok, all audiences over the age of about 13 if you want to get all MPAA about an exhortation to "turn that fucking TV off"). There's a lot of generic eroge girls, but there is also come 3d-CGed horseracing, which is probably the first and last time such has gotten dropped into an AMV.

SH089 - Reflections

video: Prince of Tennis
music: Nightingale - "The Glory Days"
link: depositfiles [44.2 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: July 2004

This video had a lot of technical problems in the assembly process and even more at mixdown. This was getting to be typical, because my editing station was on its last legs, and the kludge-based process that was allowing me to keep going, plus the fact that the last four videos in that environment were built out of often severely damaged source, was showing the edges of its limitations.

It's worth looking back at that environment; originally built in 1998 and substantially rebuilt in 2001, at this point Keystone was somewhere between four and six years old, still using an OS that most people would barely trust to run their filesystem correctly, let alone make AMVs in, and souped up with parts acquired from random, often sketchy sources. Somehow, it all held together, dependent on hardware assists and a particular crazy-quilt processing chain, and produced, in the end, 101 AMVs and re-edited-video-things-that-are-not-AMVs. There's some nostalgia for it, but I really suspect this is chiefly because the box in question doesn't boot up any more, and I can't touch the tools again and remember how stupid and difficult everything was.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SH088 - -- (rubicons)

video: Munto OAV
music: In Flames - interstitial track, Soundtrack To Your Escape
link: depositfiles [12.8 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, Virtual Dub
production date: May 2004

The .org entry for this video lists the music as "Touch of Red". As explained in the entry over there, this is not exactly correct. The music is stored in track 4 on the CD, but it's not really part of the actual song. Instead, it's an undescribed interstitial coming in between that song and "Like You Better Dead". On the excessively remote chance that someone who knows the band ever comes across this, before you tell me to gtfo and take the link down, fill me in on what they call this thing on their rehearsal tapes or whatever.

I did not steal pre-cel pencils for this anime or something in order to make the video. Not only do those not exist because the show was digitally animated, cel painting inherently destroys pencil work and even if such pencils did exist it would have been way too much fucking work for zero return. Instead, animation paint was stripped out the simple and easy way with Lags/Ben Greenwood's difference filter, which is or should be the centerpiece of every filter chain that needs to quickly and efficiently turn a colored-in image back into lines. The point was to turn the video back into pencils, so I didn't throw in a threshold like I did on INSO13.

SH087 - if I only close my eyes ()

video: Stratos 4
music: Subway Mirror - "Forever Young"
link: depositfiles [21.6 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: April 2004

This video to a pretty large extent explains itself, and is a decently quick enough download to do so in expedited fashion. The broader issue is why I did it with a local band from Sweden; that answer, alas, isn't available any more.

In late 2003, Dan Swano decided to do up swano.com as a personal website, since no one else was using it for anything. (It's still unregistered now, which helps explain why.) This was a good idea, and he'd probably have it yet if he didn't have the bright idea to convert nearly everything he'd ever recorded with bands that never made it onto a label to mp3 and put it up there. It was a beautiful site, and tremendously informative in its insights into his development as a musician and a producer, but in bandwidth terms it was an utter underestimation of the fanatic attraction of prog metal geeks the world over to music that is weird, kvlt, free, and easily available. The site died hard and fast. I probably helped kill it, but if I hadn't, I wouldn't have a lot of weird, awesome Swano stuff today, and I wouldn't be able to republish it in forms like this video. Your tragedy of the commons in action, ladies and gentlemen.

SH086 - the Wolverine Blues

video: various
music: The Gathering - "Broken Glass"
link: depositfiles [60 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, SSMM
production date: March 2004

This video comes with a nice cautionary tale about doing proper stress tests before going live. I did this as a demo for Animania and handed it off, in DVD-quality MPEG2 form (the master used to make the XVID linked above) to the dude running the showing to show over intermission, not thinking too much of it. During intermission, as I'm selling raffle tickets and generally scuttlebutting with other staffers, the head (the dude mocked by SH085) comes running out of the showing room to chew out the guy who was running the projector -- this video'd crashed it. There was a big kickup, but I did have a knocked-down version on hand to show, and that didn't have an utterly annihilating data rate in certain sections.

If you download the video, you can skip to about 4:10 to see what done it. There's a lot of manga panes in this video, and they are running at 30 fps. Nice and sharp and almost 100% turnover frame to frame -- and it runs over the entirety of the trem solo basically from that mark to the end of the video. I didn't have any problems with the MPEG2, despite my old editing station at the time, probably because I had a capture card in it, and the MPEG2 processing was getting routed through the chip on there. The showing PC, not having any such convenience, HCF'd. The moral's simple; test, test test, and on systems that resemble your production infrastructure as closely as possible.

SH085 - Ryoma-sama e love Ian

video: Prince of Tennis
music: Richard Marx - "Right Here Waiting" (remix)
link: depositfiles [20.6 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, Acid
production date: December 2003

At the time that I did this video (as a tail-twist on the president of Animania at the time) I was on a bit of a techno kick, listening to relatively more Terror Organ, GMO, modern Ulver, and Teargas & Plateglass than I have before or since (see also SH086), and the soundtrack to this one, a remix completely original to this video, shows the influence. The oskulumObszenum material I was composing at about the same time is probably never going to get released; I have about an EP's worth of stuff for the proposed Attack Semantics record, but it needs about 15 more minutes on 2-3 songs to really justify its own existence, and I don't even have enough time these days to write and record Coelem stuff, a project I actually care about, let alone finish a bad techno record that can't decide whether it wants to be darkwave or happy hardcore.

SH084 - Gunwomen of the Apocalypse

video: Early Reins
music: Seatbelts - "Go Go Cactus Man"
link: depositfiles [26.5 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: November 2003

After Project Haibane and the three non-explicitly-related Excel Saga videos in sequence, it was becoming clear that long cuts and other large-scope project elements were essentially incompatible with being in grad school. Fifteen hours of class, fifteen to thirty hours of labwork/homework, twenty hours at work, and about 25 hours a week hiking to class and work and such chopped sharply into the time available for editing. Thus the overwhelming bias in this period, as seen in this one and on the next couple entries, for weird videos on a smaller source pool. This is also, I think, a reaction to the emerging heyday of AMVs and the fact that I was falling further off the pace technologically; there was a greater pressure towards what would become a core idea, to make the AMV that will not exist otherwise, in order to avoid duplicating effort under an environment where every second was precious.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

INSO02 - Howl From The Soul

video: Excel Saga
music: Death - "Voice Of The Soul"
link: depositfiles [37.1 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar, well, as such
production date: October 2003

The reason this wasn't posted up here between INSO01 and INSO03 is that unlike those videos, and for that matter every other INSO video except INSO08 (which isn't getting republished here for other reasons), it has a .org catalog entry and thus tends to get treated as part of the 'main sequence' of SH videos. The reason it has that catalog entry is that I got convinced, about a year after actually making it, that it was worth publishing, as an AMV that is not immediately obvious as non-edited. All cuts in this one are cut in the source, with no effort expended in reassembling; I cut in at the right in-point, out when the music was over, and faded up and down. Honest; check it for yourself if you've got the DVD or know where to steal this episode from.

In a way, this is a remote and indirect ancestor to SH115; the synch in this one is partially there and partially closure, but the idea that the meaning in the original animation is tracking the movement in this song, but only in this particular section that is neither the start nor the end of the portion of the episode it comes from, is pure closure. Well, that, or some outstanding luck, but we all know which way Occam's razor is slicing this one.

SH083 - Don't Watch This Video

video: Excel Saga
music: Metallica - "So What" (ok, ok, cover)
link: depositfiles normal [32.6 MB], chipmunk mix [17.1 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: October 2003

It was a real struggle to come up with a non-obscene picture that would represent this video accurately. The above one pretty much encapsulates exactly the level of subtlety that should be expected from this video, as well as the subject matter and maturity level. The title is there for a reason.

The chipmunk mix is a result of a 100% acceleration and 50% decimation in Virtual Dub, but despite the simple change is still funnier than the regular version of the video.

SH082 - We've Come For Your Cheez Balls

video: Excel Saga
music: Hypocrisy - "Evil Invaders" (cover)
link: depositfiles [41 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: October 2003

This is an action video that keeps getting classed as comedy because of a) the source and b) the fact that it's funny, even just as funny-stupid. Overcompartmentalization sucks and will kill action AMVs more surely than all the noob edits in the world, and more people need to watch The Long Good Friday.

The "cover" note is here and not on the few other videos that it applies to because if I didn't put it in, these dudes would whine ceaselessly.

SH081 - lost in days of blood

video: Blood Reign - Curse of the Yoma
music: Sentenced - "Dead Moon Rising"
link: depositfiles [47 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: September 2003

This was the eighth and so far last Sentenced video from SH. Long strange trip indeed. There are a couple more ideas in, including one of the first ideas I ever put together as a planned AMV back in October 2000, but for one reason or another I haven't actually done a Sentenced video in the last seven years.

SH080 - Under Control

video: You're Under Arrest mini-specials
music: C.W. McCall - "Lewis and Clark"
link: depositfiles [24.2 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: August 2003

This is probably the most un-SH SH video, showing clearly the pernicious influence of the .org, but that's not the reason why it came out the way it did. The main reason it looks like it does is that the ideas for this one were very clearly overrunning the limitations of what I was able to do in Dazzle. You cannot make a lipsynch video in this, or pretty much any other linear editor, and doing so is harder still when you don't have frame-accurate playback. Trying to hack out a clunky comedy video that runs solely on lipsynch in such an editor is not the most adaptive idea in the world. However, there's a reason that I haven't done anything like this since moving to a real NLE. This, too, is ok; I'm comfortable with my growth arc of developing my own ideas in isolation, confronting and struggling with conventional wisdom, then moving beyond that, influenced by it nonetheless, to do what I want to do in the way that results in the final product most closely resembling the initial idea.

Griping about influences aside, this was also sharply constrained by the source. There is not a whole lot of good animation in this title, so even for super YUA fans, this is pushing the edge of being a ripoff.